McDonald’s strives to make a fried chicken sandwich that rivals the best rival Chick-fil-A. He chose something special in the recipe: MSG, the flavor enhancer that has fans and enemies.
The world’s largest restaurant chain is currently testing chicken sandwiches with monosodium glutamate, an ingredient that tastes salty but also presents health problems for consumers. The additive is found not only in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Houston but also in tests of sausages, soups and various crispy chicken fillets.
Chicken is a big problem in fast food. Americans eat more meat than any other each year, and consumption increases. McDonald’s has spent years trying to make a fried chicken sandwich to grow the Atlanta chain Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A also uses MSG in its classic chicken sandwich, as does Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, which released a sandwich last summer and sold on social media.
“We always listen to our customers about our menu offerings,” said a McDonald’s spokesperson when asked to add MSG. Comments and ideas from the test will influence your future decisions, he said.
A Chick-fil-A representative declined to comment, while Popeyes’ representatives did not respond to a request for comment.
The Fruitful Conversations
MSG is a flavor enhancer that has been used for decades after commercial production began in the early 1900s. Today it is often associated with takeaways, soups, and processed meat. Although the ingredient is generally safe, according to the Food and Drug Administration, its use is controversial and some people complain of negative side effects like headaches, numbness, and palpitations.
McDonald’s does not currently use MSG in its national menu products and lists the ingredients on its national menu on its website, the company says.
Customers of McDonald’s in Houston and Knoxville responded positively to tests of their crispy chicken sandwich and their luxurious crispy chicken sandwich, which are available at more than 230 stores, the spokesperson said. The process will take a few more weeks. Also give a go on an MSG Portuguese Sausage and Soup that is based in some places of Hawaii, along with Crispier chicken fillets in Augusta, Georgia, and Seattle.